Romina Oprandi (Photo by Craig Glover)
By Steve Pratt
LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Oct. 1, 2011) – The day started with an added doubles match carried over a day because of rain and ended prematurely with an injury default.on semifinal Saturday at the third annual Lexus of Las Vegas Open.
American Alexa Glatch will play top-seeded Romina Oprandi in Sunday’s singles final at 11 a.m. Oprandi, a surging Italian, enjoyed a career victory over former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters in June on the WTA Tour.
Following ample rest, Glatch will also compete in the doubles final at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event taking place at the Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin.
“It’s never the way you want to win but it feels great to be in the final,” Glatch told the crowd after 2009 Lexus of Las Vegas champion Regina Kulikova was forced to retire from her match at 1-1 in the first set because of a recurring neck injury. “I’ve never played Romina before but I think it’s going to be a good final. We both have similar games and like to use our slice and variety, so it should be interesting,” said the Newport Beach native.
Co-Tournament director Jordan Butler said Kulikova felt bad she was unable to continue. “You never like to see that, and Regina is our inaugural champion, so it’s unfortunate.”
In the other semifinal, Oprandi toppled Kurumi Nara of Japan, 6-4, 7-5. It was a rematch of their US Open second-round qualifying match won by Oprandi in three and a half hours.
“I think it’s always a better feeling having beaten someone once before,” Oprandi said.
Oprandi said she really wants to see David Copperfield on the Strip Saturday night, but wasn’t sure if it was sold out or not. She said she won’t be nervous playing in the final.
“It’s always special to be in the final,” she said. “But it’s just another match, that’s the way I see it. It’s great to be in a final. It’s been a great tournament here in Vegas.”
Varvara Lepchenko and Melanie Oudin started the day off winning three games to capture their doubles semifinal, beating American’s Macall Harkins and Ahsha Rolle, 6-4, 6-3, in a match concluded after a rain delay with Lepchenko and Oudin leading 6-4, 3-0 on Friday.
The pair will face Glatch and Mashona Washington in the doubles final to follow singles.
Follow on Twitter for live results at @lvprocircuit. Also, visit the tournament website at: www.lexuslvopen.com.
Saturday’s Semifinal final Singles Scores
(wc: wild card; q: qualifier)
Romina Oprandi (1), Italy, def. Kurumi Nara, Japan, 6-4, 7-5
Alexa Glatch, U.S., def. Regina Kulikova, Russia, 1-1, retired
Saturday’s Semifinal Doubles Score
Varvara Lepchenko, U.S.-Melanie Oudin, U.S., def. Macall Harkins, U.S.-Ahsha Rolle, U.S., 6-4, 6-3
Sunday’s Finals Schedule of Play
Stadium Court starting at 11 a.m.
Alexa Glatch, U.S., vs. Romina Oprandi (1), Italy
Doubles final not before 1 p.m.
Alexa Glatch, U.S.-Mashona Washington (3), U.S., vs. Varvara Lepchenko, U.S.-Melanie Oudin, U.S.